Afro-American Studies Professor Named Associate Chancellor for Equal Opportunity and Diversity

AMHERST, Mass. - University of Massachusetts Chancellor David K. Scott has named professor Esther Terry as associate chancellor for Equal Opportunity and Diversity, replacing professor Frederick Tillis, who recently retired. Terry, who will remain head of the W.E.B. Du Bois department of Afro-American studies, has been a faculty member on campus since 1970.

"There are few people who have contributed as much as professor Terry has to creating and ensuring opportunity for women and people of color on our campus," said Scott. "She has often contributed an articulate and constructive voice to their concerns, and I look forward to working with her."

Terry received her Ph.D. from UMass in American literature, specializing in African-American theater. She earned her master’s degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Among the courses she has taught are the Harlem Renaissance, Afro-American Literature, Southern Women Writers, and Black Images in White American Fiction. Terry was also founder and director of the Black Repertory Theater at UMass from 1969 to 1974.

She has served the University in numerous administrative roles, including associate provost for faculty relations (1978-1984); associate director of the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (1985-1992), and, since 1992, as co-director, an appointment she continues to hold. Terry has also been associate chair of the Afro-American studies department (1984-1988). She was named chair of the Afro-American studies department in 1988, a position she still holds. During her tenure as head of the Afro-American studies department, she coordinated the development of the new Ph.D. program which was approved by the University’s Board of Trustees two years ago.

She has been a reader for The Massachusetts Review, and chaired the Committee for the Collegiate Education of Black and other Minority Students. She has been a member of the Chancellor’s Affirmative Action Advising Board, and treasurer of the W.E.B. Du Bois Foundation, Inc. Terry has also served on the advisory boards of several groups in the campus community, including Everywoman’s Center; WFCR; University Without Walls; and New World Theatre.